Archive for the ‘martin buttrich’ Category

Force majeure

Simian Mobile Disco, “Hustler” (Shackleton remix) [Wichita] (buy)
Those Simian boys sure know how to call in a favor, eh? So far, their singles have been remixed by Prins Thomas, Switch, Armand Van Helden, Luke Vibert, Riton, Graham Massey of 808 State, and the “Hustler” single extends that to include Kevin Saunderson, Jesse Rose and Shackleton. I didn’t expect to see that last name on the list, but I was instantly intrigued when I did. “Hustler” is a raucous jam of bleeping bluster and boundless sassy energy. S. Shackleton gives off a darker vibe in his aggressively structured and ethnically influenced tracks, oftentimes fitting in the dubstep paradigm. But ever the shapeshifter, his take on “Hustler” is a different beast altogether.

Shackleton rides the rails of a ticking house beat, bittersweet harmonic burbles washing against the sides of vocal samples in pools of reverb. He fires off riffs into empty space and watches as they stretch further and further over hugely expansive bass pulses. His choice of vocal selections and their echo-laden treatment lend gravitas to lyrics like, “Gotta do what’chu gotta do” and “to stay alive.” There’s no romanticism in the Shackleton’s tone. However, the chord progressions and timbres he uses are among some of the most ear-pleasing he’s produced, though far from the pop mayhem of the original. Shackleton held up a mirror to this tune and captured a ragged minimalism befitting of its subject matter. It seems a bit of Ricardo Villalobos (who famously remixed his dystopian tune, “Blood On My Hands,” to epic proportions) has rubbed off on this shadowy producer. I think Ricardo would be proud, if he’s not already spinning this somewhere right now.

Also, I reviewed Martin Buttrich’s new single, “Hunter,” on RA. Some might be surprised that I’m not a bigger fan of it, but it’s a letdown in my book, especially the snoozephonic “Hunted.” I feel like he’s got something better inside of him yet, or at least I hope he does.


March charts (lose your brackets)

In the order they came to my mind, 15 because 10 isn’t nearly enough:

01. Lopazz, “Gimme Gimme” [Get Physical]
02. Junior Boys, “Like a Child” (Carl Craig remix) [Domino USA]
03. Monoroom, “Memory Inc. Part 2” (Gui Boratto remix) [Live Large Recordings]
04. Lee Jones, “There Comes A Time” [Aus Music]
05. TG, “Rhythm Acupuncture” (Martin Buttrich remix) [Four:Twenty Recordings]
06. Ripperton, “A Skylift Upstairs the Sleeping City” [Systematic]
07. Jörg Burger, “Polyform 1” [K2]
08. Marc Romboy vs Chelonis R. Jones, “Helen Cornell” [Systematic]
09. Stephan Bodzin, “Liebe Ist…” [Herzblut Recordings; review forthcoming]
10. Cagney & Lacey, “Your Girl Pukes All Over The Dancefloor” (Jesse Rose ‘Sort Your Missus Out’ remix) [Tendenzen Freier Entfaltung]
11. Beck, “Cell Phone’s Dead” (Ricardo Villalobos Entlebuch remix) [Interscope Records]
12. Oliver Koletzki, “Music From the Heart” [Hell Yeah Recordings]
13. Justice, “D.A.N.C.E.” [Ed Banger Records]
14. John Daly, “Skydive” [Plak Records]
15. Camille, “Ta Douleur” (Al Usher vocal mix) [EMI Recordings (France)]

I found the simple life ain’t so simple

Some snaps I took from last night’s Audion set just went up on Pitchfork. The vibe at Sonotheque was fantastic — lots of people very happy about being clubbed to death with chunky, minimal beats. Matthew played an excellent set that matched, if not surpassed the last time I saw him spin. Also had the chance to meet Travis, who writes for More Cowbell and is a lovely guy who really knows his shit when it comes to techno. Many thanks to my friend Joe for his help with this post.

Tracey Thorn, “It’s All True” (Martin Buttrich remix)

The Field, “The Deal”

John Spring, “Strange”

MFSB, “Love Is the Message” (Francois K remix)


I don’t know if I really get the idea of charts, but here’s a list of tunes/albums I liked most in January (in order of memory):

01. Pink Grease, “Carlights” (Cajuan remix) [Horny energy incarnate]
02. MVS1 – Troy Pierce vs Heartthrob / Gaiser & Heartthrob [Review forthcoming on RA]
03. Nathan Fake, “Outhouse” (Valentino Kanzyani remix) [From beginning rippling stutter to eventual epic melody: intense]
04. KC Accidental, “Is And Of The” [Float in the jetstream; thanks, sweetie!]
05. The Chromatics, In Shining Violence [Credit to Birth School Work Death for turning me onto this; still thinking]
06. Panther, “How Well Can You Swim?” [One of the few times a dude singing like Christina Aguilera is a good thing]
07. Burial, Burial [Totally missed the ’06 bus on this one, still catching up]
08. Silicone Soul, “The Unforgiven Dub” [Deep deep deep/steep steep steep!]
09. Black Devil Disco Club, 28 Later [Another missed connection of ’06; as essential as its predecessor]
10. The Klaxons,”Golden Skans” [A marzipan laser pointer through the ears. Erol Alkan remix review also forthcoming]
11. Martin Buttrich, “Well Done” [Tech-house with acid frosting? I’ll take two and a Serafin remix, thanks]
12. Thomas Heckmann & Andreas Kauffelt, “Stylophonic” [Cheers to Ronan for pointing and handing this out. A.F.U.!]
13. Daft Punk, “Musique” (Lounge version) [Good to revisit the basics from time to time]
14. Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity [You would think they would run out of excellent ideas by now, but um, nope]
15. Âme, “Rej” (A Hundred Birds remix) [So this is what modern classical music should sound like?]

Nose bleed

Âme, “Rej” (A Hundred Birds remix)

Ryoji Ikeda, “Time 4’44″”

Roman Fluegel, “Pattern 14”

Moloko, “Familiar Feeling” (Martin Buttrich remix)

Bombs in your basement

NOMO, “Nu Tones” (Matthew Dear remix)

Thomas Brinkmann, “Today”

Monolake, “Index”

Sleeparchive, “Bleep 04”

Here’s my review of the new Martin Buttrich single, “Well Done.”

Prepare for the takeover

Illustration by Matei Apostolescu

The Infadels, “Girl That Speaks No Words” (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke remix)

Martin Buttrich, “Full Clip”

Henrik Schwarz, Ame & Dixon, “Where We At” (version 3)

Loefah, “System”

Kuduru, “Puto Prada”

Purple Flash, “We Can Make It” (1984 instrumental version)

Never needed a membership card

Iggy shares yoga tips in his garden.

I wonder what the protocol is for asking Iggy Pop to do vocals for your group. If it actually happens, it’s likely Pop’s already had an interest in your band for whatever reason (to which most of Skull Ring can be contentiously chalked up) and the actual moment isn’t as intense. For a tune like this — more accurately a role like this — I’d imagine Pop might have been stoked. During “Punk Rocker,” a tune by Sweden’s Teddybears with Iggy sitting in on the mic, the former Stooge practically pays tribute to himself by adopting a self-immortalizing character whose aloof proclamations are as amusing as they are fitting.

Like an old Cars single, “Punk Rocker” rattles to life with a hypnotic synth rhythm enforced with tambourine and a heady synth solo lead. When Pop shows up it’s just him and the bassist, whose sound and nonchalant performance make me think he owns a holster. Iggy’s voice trembles through the low, dramatic octaves like Ian Curtis, maybe even Interpol’s Paul Banks, and it’s difficult to identify him without specifically knowing he’s there. He’s driving in his car, being chased by the cops and not giving a shit. While he crows on about being fearless, a nasty, frantically wah’ed guitar riffs along — an unexpected attempt at something funky or dangerous sounding that’s entirely out of place in the tune. The chorus kicks up dirt, with bullheaded guitar lines crashing through the simple melody, Pop declares “I’m a punk rocker, yes I am.” Sounding as crisp, studio-shaped and poppy as it does, it’s difficult to agree with him sonically, but he sells it. This sentiment locks in after the tense bridge. Immersed in harnessed feedback, Iggy laments being “bored with being god,” and repeats an earlier line: “I’m listening to the music with no fear / You can hear it too if you’re sincere.” His ethic and his outlook bring a brash confidence that calls you out for questioning his choice of band or what-have-you. His sensational persona only furthers that he can and will do whatever the fuck he wants, and you can ride the wave or jump off, buster.

As a tune, it’s goths riding in cars with Iggy sound is infectious, if perhaps a bit cloying. Though Teddybears don’t usually sound like this (they have no singular sound; guest vocalists as disparate as Annie and Elephant Man also lend their talents to the album, which makes me again question how Pop got involved), this freeing combination allows one of rock’s favorite sons to ham it up, warm his space in history and move on. And hell, they get to say they worked with Iggy Pop, if that kind of thing matters to them. I’m guessing it does.

Audio: Teddybears, “Punk Rocker” (ft. Iggy Pop)

Trimmed nails

Though a lot of people have only heard reggae from the UK via The Clash, the post-punk and echoing later subgenres also made some pretty fantastic and strange music. The dub sound was rarely used for its more relaxing and stoned-out qualities, instead warping a dischordant and fractured sound to loosen its boundaries and contort its attack. Public Image Limited is the first band that comes to mind when discussing this movement. Jah Wobble and Johnny Lydon stuck themselves in dub chambers and untangled or re-tangled their neurosis, with their greatest success being the artfully dreary sophomore release, Metal Box. The Slits were another group who adapted a space case reggae beat into their scrappy bursts of songs. Ari Upp of the group would later join up with Mark Stewart, former member of the jagged post-punk dub enthusiasts, the Pop Group. They, along with famed dub producer Adrian Sherwood and a handful of others would further explore a traditionalist sound with a British bent and liberal dollops of experimentalism. Stewart would later push the experimental side into harsher territory on his solo records. His destructive, shrapnel beats and paranoid production (assisted by German electronic avante guardist, Holger Hiller) are almost early industrial in genre. There’s also something to be said for Playgroup (not the one you’re thinking of) and The Ruts (a lot closer to The Clash and unwitting inspiration to bands like Face to Face). I’m sure there is a whole contingent of bands I’m missing from of this movement; and for the sake of making this post semi-brief, I’m leaving out all of the reggae artists not associated with post-punk.


Public Image Limited, “No Birds”
The Slits, “New Town”
The Pop Group, “Words Disobey Me”
New Age Steppers, “Fade Away”
Mark Stewart, “The Resistence of the Cell”
Playgroup, “Silent Mover”
The Ruts, “Dope For Guns”

Cornered in the bathroom (again)

Stephen Brodsky is a bit more prolific than I was aware of. In addition to fronting the slightly revered Cave In (the metal albums at least), Brodsky’s had his hand in Old Man Gloom and Converge, as well as three solo albums. Stephen Brodsky’s Octave Museum is the third, due out November 7th on, where else, Hydra Head records. And like those that came before it, it can be a bit much. Shuffling between genres and sounds with every song, it’s far more ambitious than the singular sounds of his previous solo releases. Regardless of the stylistic roulette, his characteristic LOUD & LARGE turns each track into that that sub-genre as played by Stephen Brodsky. At times they sound like tunes the other Cave In members weren’t interested in, or decided didn’t have enough edge. Others I think he’s just got some pop demons he needs to exorcise and genres he want’s to exercise. Either way, some turn out far better than others.

Now you’ll have to pardon me for cherry-picking, I’ll probably grow out of it, but there are two that need particular notice. In advance, pardon the name-drop — dude likes to dabble.

The smoke-choked riffs that open the record belong to “Voice Electric,” which finds Brodsky joining two unlikely sources: Modifying the Spacemen 3 motivational tools a bit, this burly riff snorts pixiesticks instead of blow. The effect has him ditching his dramatic pop tenor and singing like Thom Yorke and Jon Thor Birgisson (of Sigur Rós) tickling each other. The muscular feel of the fuzzy lead wraps an an iron fist around the pop-metal he wrote before and blows it a kiss. You can hear the electricity in the studio crackling in and out of the speakers when a fiery set of solos cut through the drone. Easily one of Brodsky’s best songs to date.
But then he’s Of Montreal and gushing non-sequiturs and popping out psychedelica. Maybe a touch of Spoon or the Living End? When he does anchor himself securely to a sound, as he does with the swooning “Prove Myself,” it’s one ready for the airwaves. S-Brod and his crew, I should mention, of Johnny Parker Northlup (sp?) and Kevin Shirtleff, return to Beatles acoustic tunes for inspiration. Neatly wrapped in gausy song structure, the tune would sound best nestled between the best Rob Thomas song you can think of and the best Better Than Ezra song. It’s a strange nostalgic result that brings Brodsky back to the chronological birth of Cave In. Charming for it’s unabashedly adorable melody, the piece swings and sways under the subject’s gaze. It ends with the man by himself, his guitar and a room. It’s a cheap trick, but it’s evocative all the same. If only I could say that for all the other antics he pulls on this latest slab of self-indulgence.

Audio: Stephen Brodsky, “Voice Electric”

Stephen Brodsky, “Prove Myself”